Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wikipedia Masry?

If you are a prominent Arabic Wikipedia user, I am sure you have seen this before — an Egyptian Arabic Wikipedia, Masry.

Masry (more accurately, misry) is Arabic for the Egyptian dialect of the Arabic language. Yes, a dialect only. This means that it is spoken only (which means never written) because it is just an accent used only in Egypt.

I have to say I was shocked to see such usage of the Arabic language. I do understand the proposer's aim for such a project. I agree, it is a good way to make the Arabic language easier for those with simple education. But my question is — how many people with simple education actually own a computer and have access to the internet?

In addition to this, Masry is a transformation of the Arabic language that has tons of errors. It does not have an official status in Egypt and thus cannot be used in written form. As a native Arabic speaker, I am ashamed to see my precious language written in such form. It is very degrading and it hardly does fulfill its purpose (of offering easier education).

I agree that the education in Egypt is a failure, and illiteracy is a problem. But the solution to this problem for those with weak Arabic skills is to read Arabic, not to read a tremendously faulty version, which I believe only scratches the surface of the Arabic language with all its glory.

Last I checked there is no Texan accent Wikipedia, am I right? And please don't compare Masry Wikipedia with Simple English Wikipedia, a dialect is different from a simplified written form. Will we see a Lebanese Arabic Wikipedia, a Syrian Arabic Wikipedia, a Saudi Arabian Arabic Wikipedia, a place-an-Arabic-subdialect-here Wikipedia?

P.S. What the hell is arz?


Medsha said...

Face it, languages evolve and so does the Arabic language.

Abdurrahman G said...

No. A language that evolves improves. The Arabic language is a rich language that has great history in literature, poetry, science and being a seamless communication medium among the Arab World.

On the other hand, Masry is a dialect and cannot be a language because it does not have consistent grammar and thus cannot be used in written form.

This is not evolution. This is deterioration of the Arabic language into a dialect, nothing more. You cannot write science books in Scottish English. In written forms, it all restores the original standard language regardless of accent.

So the Jews restored their Hebrew language into the exact same form that Prophet Moses (p.b.u.h) used from 3500 years ago, and you're arguing that Arabic should deteriorate rather than to be restored. Sure, Hebrew imported technical terms to its vocabulary, but the language itself hasn't changed.

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